Earthquake Relief Reaches Rebel-Held Syria via Newly Opened Crossing

UN Aid Reaches Rebel-Held Northern Syria via Bab al-Salama Crossing

  1. Aid Convoy Enters Rebel-Held Northern Syria
    • An aid convoy entered rebel-held northern Syria from Turkey through the Bab al-Salama crossing on Tuesday, marking the first UN aid delivery since the recent earthquake.
    • The crossing had been closed to UN aid since 2020, but reopened following the earthquake to allow aid to reach those in need.
  2. UN Relief Efforts
    • The convoy, consisting of 11 vehicles from the UN Organization for Migration, carried essential emergency supplies such as safety gear, mattresses, and blankets.
    • UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths emphasized the importance of this aid delivery, stating that “transient UN aid is a way of life.”
  3. Earthquake’s Impact
    • The 7.8 magnitude earthquake on February 6 caused widespread devastation and claimed thousands of lives in Syria and neighboring Turkey.
    • In rebel-held areas, the death toll exceeded 3,600, highlighting the urgent need for humanitarian assistance.
  4. Crossing Points for Aid
    • Bab al-Hawa has been the only crossing point for international aid in rebel-held areas for the past three years, up from four in 2014.
    • Damascus has recently granted permission for the UN to use the Bab al-Salama and Al-Raee crossings to bring aid, in addition to Bab al-Hawa.
  5. UN’s Response and Criticisms
    • The UN has faced criticism for its slow response to the earthquake in rebel-held areas, with activists and emergency groups calling for more immediate and substantial aid efforts.
    • The first UN delegation visited the rebel-held northwest since the earthquake, signaling a step towards increased aid and support for the affected population.

The reopening of the Bab al-Salama crossing and the UN’s aid delivery mark a crucial step in providing relief to those affected by the earthquake in rebel-held areas of Syria.

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